Rally at UNC's Pit includes mock draft cards, sarcasm, SDS, veteran
Feb 22, 2008
Erin Callender, Staff Writer
CHAPEL HILL - For John Heuer, burning a fake draft card on the
UNC-Chapel Hill campus was a sort of deja vu.
Heuer said he burned draft cards in 1971 while refusing to be part of
President Nixon's army. He put his cigarette lighter to a symbolic
card Thursday to support a student group's anti-war rally.
"It's important to get the word out in a creative way," said Heuer, a
retired UNC facilities designer.
About 30 people attended the brief noon rally in the Pit outside the
Student Union. Members of UNC-CH Students for a Democratic Society
handed out fake draft cards and sarcastically solicited passers-by to
sign up for military duty in Iraq.
War is peace, the protesters said mockingly. For permanent peace, we
need permanent war, they said.
The rally featured two speakers who were scheduled to participate in
a campus teach-in about the war Thursday night.
Dahlia Wasfi, whose mother is American and father is Iraqi, began
speaking out internationally after visiting occupied Iraq in 2004 and 2006.
"My family in Iraq has been liberated," she said, "liberated from
water, food, security and health care."
Iraq war veteran Jason Hurd served in Baghdad from November 2004 to
November 2005. He said one of his jobs was to shoot at anything that
came within 50 meters of military vehicles.
"I went to Iraq to help people, but instead I ended up shooting
civilians," Hurd said. The people said they never had to worry about
their safety before the Americans arrived, he said.
Hurd, who said he now takes medication to deal with nightmares and
flashbacks, serves as president of the Asheville chapter of Iraq
Veterans Against the War.
The organization, founded in 2004, calls for the immediate withdrawal
of U.S. troops, reparations to the Iraqi people for the damage they
have suffered, and full benefits and support for troops returning home.
Despite the opening sarcasm, graduate student Tamara Tal said SDS is
serious about ending the war.
"The majority of Americans want this war to end," she said. "We need
to stand up, speak out and end it."